Remembering Patti Astor

Patti Astor was a year ahead of me, but we were always on a similar trajectory, although we did not converge until I wrote the first profile on her, a cover story for the East Village Eye.

She was involved with SDS but left when the organization was hijacked by the CIA-sponsored Weather Underground. She appears in  my groundbreaking film on Youtube, Origins of High Times Magazine.

The pandemic put a  huge load on our generation and got us super isolated. But I kept in touch with Patti, and plotted our “last stand” to reclaim the original scene that birthed a culture that shot around the world. The merger of punk and hip hop first exploded at the Fun Gallery. Patti was involved with the first Punk Art show held in Washington DC. She starred in the first hip hop movie, Wild Style.

Abbie Hoffman addresses the students at Columbia University during an anti-war protest.

If Jean Michel was leading the charge, Patti was riding right alongside. There are so many important contributors to the scene that were never recognized. Patti and I had a vision to create a sanctuary where our scene could gather for a few weeks during the summer. I contacted Deb Parker and told her I was looking for a private lake in a forest in the lower Catskills for a campground festival site. The first event was going to be held on the summer solstice right after the Tribeca Film Festival. Patti urged me to book Tom Tom Club and Sha-rock as headliners.

Patti was super excited about the film she was working on and loved her film crew. I got inspired and said, “I’ll enter my film on High Times, maybe we’ll both get in! And if not, let’s rent a theater and hold our own double feature!!”

Bill Stelling and Patti.

The last time I spoke to Patti it was to let her know she had a cameo in my film. I also said I’d decided to make Camp Fun a private event and not publicize nor promote it.

It would be entirely free but open only to our friends. I realized I didn’t want the stress of producing a money-making (or losing) festival. I did that all through the 1990-2000s and well know the energy it involves.

Birth of the new cool: Rene Ricard, Patti, Eric Mitchell.

Plus, I don’t follow contemporary culture and remain stuck in the 1960s to 1980s, mostly.

The plan was to hire Futura 2000 as crew chief on the art crew brought in and paid to fill the site with art, altars, memorials, tents, signs, and sculptures. We wanted his old downtown celebrity softball team to play my Bonghitters in a softball “field of dreams” dedicated to Stephen Crichlow. This became my central obsession for Camp Fun, figuring out what the opening ceremonies should look like.

Futura at his second opening.

The people I seek to hang out with are the same ones I hung out when we were laying down edges and guardrails on a cultural revolution that shot around the world because we are a special breed, and Patti is our Queen.

Brief history of Tyrian Purple

In 1200 B.C., a blue-purple dye known as Tyrian purple and/or royal purple, became a highly-valued commercial item throughout Asia Minor. It was produced by shellfish of the murex family, but the formula was kept secret for centuries.

God commanded Moses to require Jews to use this dye to color the edges of their shawls so that they could recognize the dawn and start their morning prayers. The dye was reported to be worth more than silver. Cleopatra had requested Anthony give her dye instead of pearls.

Tyrian purple was first produced by ancient Phoenicians (whose name means “purple people”) and exported to various Mediterranean ports. Pliny the Elder, in his ninth book of Naturalis Historia, described the preparation of the dye.

The dye is obtained from the mucous secretion from the murex shellfish hypobranchial gland (Muicidae family). The shellfish glands are incubated for three days in seawater and then boiled, and the insolubles are removed. The murex glands contain both the organic substrate and enzymes for production of the dye.

Tyrian purple was synthesized by Franz Sachs and Richard Kempf in 1903 and identified by Paul Friedlander in 1909 to be 6,6′-dibromoindigo (13). Archeologists have identified dye production sites that contain large quantities of murex shells. The production of the indigo dye represents a very early biotech project using an enzymatic process to produce a valuable product. The next report on an enzymatic halogenation reaction, about 3000 years later, was the paper Shaw and I published on the detection of a chlorinating enzyme in C. fumago cells (14).

We detected chloroperoxidase (CPO) activity in our first experiments using crude extracts prepared from C. fumago. In these early experiments, we incubated 36Cl with potential precursors of caldariomycin and examined the incubation mixtures for a 36Cl-labeled organic compound. We identified δ-chlorolevulinic acid as a product formed from β-ketoadipic acid in these crude reaction mixtures (1516). Subsequent work at Harvard established the peroxidative nature of the halogenation reaction (17), and work on CPO continued upon my move to the University of Illinois in 1960.

—written by the late Dr. Lowell P. “Bad-dad” Hager, former head of biochemistry at the University of Illinois

The Ten Commandments of Exodus

I am the Lord your God. I am the one who freed you from the land of Egypt, where you were slaves.

Do not have any other gods before me.

Do not make any idols. Don’t make statues or pictures of anything from the sky, the earth, or the water. Don’t make idols of any kind, because I, the Lord, am your God and I hate my people worshiping other gods. People who sin against me become my enemies, and I will punish them, and I will punish their children, their grandchildren, and even their great-grandchildren. But I will be very kind to people who love me and obey my commands. I will be kind to their families for thousands of generations.

Don’t invoke my name when making empty promises. If you do, I will punish you.

Take Saturday off. You can work Sunday to Friday, but the seventh day is a day of rest so don’t go to work—not you, your sons and daughters, or your men and women slaves. Even your animals and the foreigners living in your cities must not work! That is because the Lord worked six days and made the sky, the earth, the sea, and everything. And on the seventh day, he rested. And what’s good for the Lord is good for you.

You must honor and respect your father and your mother. Do this so that you will have a happy family life.

Don’t kill anyone.

Don’t mess around with anyone’s wife or husband.

Don’t steal.

Don’t tell lies.

Don’t lust after your neighbor’s house or his wife or his men and women servants, or his cattle or his donkeys. You must not lust after anything that does not belong to you.

Exodus 20

Secrets of the Boston Tea Party

The ‘Royal Prince’ and other vessels at the Four Days Battle, 1–4 June 1666, during the second Anglo-Dutch War.

England and the Netherlands were at war. The oligarchies of both nations had pooled their resources to create immense operations to capture monopolies on trade. The Dutch had recently created the first republic in Europe, and thus drawn the intense ire of the intermingled European royal families. The purpose of the Enlightenment was to topple royalty and religion, but wouldn’t you know it, the secret agents of royalty and religion penetrated deep into the Enlightenment. The English created Freemasonry out of the ruins of the Templars, and the Jesuits created the Illuminati as a secret take-over of Freemasonry.

The Dutch had captured a virtual monopoly on tea because they were able to move it from harvest to market faster than anyone, and the fresher the tea, the more desirable it was. Meanwhile, the English East India Company had been sending all its merchant ships back to England, where tax was collected on the cargo, and then distributing the cargo to its final destination. The English sought to capture the Dutch monopoly on tea by buying an enormous amount of tea. But the Dutch had outfoxed the English and had plenty of tea to satiate the market. The East India company was on the brink of financial ruin, and had this happened, the Dutch would have won the trade war.

In order to compete, the English decided to ship tea direct to the Colonies. They put a very low price on the tea, and added a justifiable and legal tax to cover the costs of maintaining a fleet of warships to protect their merchant fleet while in transit. The tax was insignificant. But even so, they had trouble getting merchants to buy the tea because the illegal Dutch tea was preferred by smugglers who profited from the trade, and by the consumers.

What could be done? Late one night, a group of Freemasons dressed as natives emerged from the St. Andrews Lodge in Boston, boarded the East India Company ships, and tossed the tea overboard.

This was not some disaster, but actually saved the East India Company from financial ruin, as the insurance company back in London was forced to cover the loss. Even after the revolution, that insurance company had investigators and lawyers in Boston working on the case, but they never were able to unravel the truth of what had happened.

John Hancock was a smuggler and richest man in New England, although still young. He largely instigated the Revolution, and his operations flowed largely through Freemason lodges. You will notice his signature dominants the Declaration of Independence indicating his self-importance in fomenting the split.
John Hancock, tea smuggler.

 

By dumping all the tea, the East India Company was able to collect the full value from Lloyds of London and Hancock collected the full value of his store of Dutch tea.

Obviously, it was Hancock who dumped the tea, but his agents in Boston remained loyal and no one ever dropped a dime, although significant rewards may have been offered.

The best analysis of our revolution was provided by Charles Beard in An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution, which detailed how the biggest bond holders and bankers constructed the document to protect their interests. Most of these insiders were also Freemasons, especially the ring-leader in Virginia, George Washington.

The Greatest 4 minutes in college sports history

One of the greatest ceremonies of my youth was going to Memorial stadium in Champaign, IL on Saturdays, not to see football (the team was terrible and didn’t start winning until Jim Grabowski and Dick Butkus showed up a few years later) but to see Chief Illiniwek. The Chief had first appeared at a football game against Penn State, Oct. 30, 1926, standing next to the Penn State mascot, ‘William Penn.’
This was not some corny, disrespectful culture rip-off. The tribe who inspired the name of our state resided in Oklahoma, and they had been contacted and given permission. A native company in South Dakota produced the costume.
I remember talking to my dad and him saying, “the first time I saw the Chief perform, I broke out in tears.” That was many people’s reaction because the ceremony touched some very deep spiritual nerves.
In the late sixties, a campaign to kill the Chief was launched and eventually succeeded. The campaign got national attention and was pushed by AIM, although much more corny (Kansas City Chiefs, Cleveland Indians, Washington Redskins) remained untouched (though the last two got new names last year).
First appearance of Chief Illiniwek.

Many years ago, I spent a few days hanging with Alex Whiteplume and he’d asked where I’d gone to college, and when I said University of Illinois, he replied: “The Chief.” Alex didn’t know anything about the history. He had backed the anti-Chief campaign, and had applauded his demise. The biggest problem was wearing the headdress.

The Chief was never a “mascot.” He did not stand on the sidelines and cheer. He never sang nor spoke nor showed the slightest interest in the game. He only appeared for a few minutes at every home game perform a solemn ceremony, something he always did with great dignity.

After performing the halftime show, the band would march to the north endzone, with the snare drummers keeping the beat and the band singing “Pride of the Illini” by Karl King.

“We are marching for dear old Illini. For the men who are fighting for you. Here’s a cheer for our dear Alma Mater. May our love for her ever be true! While we’re marching along life’s pathway. May the spirit of old Illinois. Keep us marching and singing, with true Illini spirit, for our dear old Illinois.”

The band crowded into a mass inside the endzone, and the Chief slipped into that mass and disappeared. Suddenly, the band did an about face and marched towards the opposite endzone while forming the letters “I-L-L-I-N-I” and playing “March of the Illini,”. At a crescendo moment in the song, the Chief burst into view, arms and legs pumping, whirling and twirling across the field and eventually ending with his signature air split at the far endzone as the song ended.
He then crossed his arms and walked resolutely back to mid-field, where he stood like a statue with open arms in a benediction while the entire stadium sang “Hail to the Orange” with great fervor, swaying with arms across each other’s shoulders.
“Hail to the Orange, Hail to the Blue, Hail Alma Mater, Ever so true (so true). We love no other, so let our motto be, vic-tor-y, Il-li-nois, Var-si-ty.”
He concluded with a reprise of his dance. I can’t remember if he ended that with another signature air split, but both dances picked up tempo and volume as they went on. Every three or four years a new move could be added by the new Chief, sometimes the new move resembling something John Travalota might have done in Saturday Night Fever.
The three-in-one was always introduced as “the most exciting four minutes in college athletics.” It was one of the most powerful ceremonies I ever experienced.
After the Chief was banned, the band continued to perform the three-in-one. But it was completely flat and meaningless without the Chief. I started a campaign online to bring the Chief back in the form of Chef Ra dressed in a Jamaican-style outfit, but got no traction.
We will need a marching band to perform at the softball tournament at Camp Fun over the Summer Solstice in Bethel, NY. You don’t even need musical ability, just bring a kazoo or a percussion instrument. It’s my dream to re-enact the three-in-one with new lyrics and without native references. And I need a dred to play the Chief part.
For information go here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1193922314900345/?ref=newsfeed

Coming summer 2024: Camp Fun

Whee! ceremony for world peace.

Camp Fun Ceremony June 14-23, 2024, somewhere near Bethel, New York, site of first Woodstock festival.

Bring your useful junk to the Free Store. We will build a pop-up eco-village out of recycled and repurposed material that runs mostly on solar power.
Bring camping equipment and building supplies and especially bikes, even broken ones. We will paint them white in honor of the Provos and they will be free to all and there will be bike trails through the woods lit up with fairy lights at night. All the junk goes into the Free Store where it can be claimed by anyone.
Chef RA’s Psychedelic Kitchen will serve free food, 24-7. There will be a jar for donations, and donations buy most of the supplies for the kitchen. Anyone can volunteer and work on any of the crews, including the kitchen crew. If there is no crew to run the kitchen, help yourself snacks will be left out for anyone to forage.
There will be a solar-powered open mic stage. All attendees will be able to vend at the Barter Circle. There will be a peace pole erected during the event.
On Thursday, June 20, a 4:20 ceremony will be held at the pole. Anyone can volunteer to be in the ceremony. The script will be very basic but will have lots of action. There will be a confrontation between a group of monks dressed in white and a group of bikers dressed in black. It will result in the burning down of the monk’s paper temple and the death of everyone on both sides.
At exactly 4:50 (when the sun is closest to the earth), a giant phoenix bird puppet will appear in the distance and will come to circle the pole. A parade from kid village of only kids will enter with the phoenix. The kids will be singing: “All we are saying, is give peace a chance.”
The kids form a circle around the pole and hold hands. The adults form a circle or two around the kids and hold hands. When the circles are complete, the OM begins.

John Brown and the Weather Underground are the same

John Brown’s body lies mouldering in the grave.

On this date in 1859, terrorist John Brown was hanged.

Brown had taken hostages and seized an armory with the intention of sparking a slave revolt.

His terror campaign was financed by William Huntington Russell, recently graduated from Yale, who had founded a secret society called “The Order” at Yale University based on a fraternity he had joined during a summer in Bavaria. This likely would not have happened except that Phi Betta Kappa went aboveground, which greatly annoyed Russell, who was a member and valedictorian of his class. Due to the secret fraternity’s bizarre rituals involving human remains, the group soon became known as Skull & Bones.

Without Brown, there might never have been a Civil War. The rush into war was orchestrated on several fronts, but the most important was creating fear in the hearts and minds of Southern slave owners.

Strange the Russell family had benefited greatly from slavery, although their emphasis had shifted to opium after England banned slavery. The family was close with the East India Company, the world’s most powerful corporation at the time.

Aside from funding Brown’s terror campaign, Russell had also founded an officer training academy in New Haven to provide officers for the coming conflagration.

If you know there is going to be a war, you can make a lot of money by getting out in front on the profit schemes.

The possibility The Order is actually the Illuminati is very real, which would explain the deluge of tin foil hat material involving the group.

Strange a similar pattern would play out in my time. The Weather Underground launched a terror campaign against straight people. They targeted blacks either recently released from prison or returned from Vietnam, and gave them weapons and explosives, and filled their heads with Communist propaganda.

Bill Ayers, leader of the Weather Underground, after being arrested for provoking a window-smashing riot in Chicago, does not appear the least bit worried and shares a smirk similar to Brown’s.

One of their ops was the SLA that kidnapped Patti Hearst.

The Weather Underground put enough fear of hippies in the hearts and minds of middle America to keep Richard Nixon and the war continue far beyond what was necessary, resulting in the death of millions, mostly through the sideshow in Cambodia, also fomented by Communists.

Charles Manson was the major player in sheep-dipping the hippies as psychopathic serial killers.

Not only was the Civil War (which permanently divided the nation in two) an Illuminati operation, but so was the creation of Communism.

See, when you buy up all the best horses in the race, it doesn’t matter which one wins.

Brown manipulated white fear of blacks to start a war, while the Weather Underground deployed the same fears in order to keep a war going. The dialectical nature of the op is obvious if you consider John Kerry and W. Bush, who ran against each other for president, were both boners.

But the most telling detail is that after over a decade on the run while fomenting terror ops, the Weather Underground leaders came out of the cold and stepped into cushy university gigs with pensions. Not a fate that typically awaits real social revolutionaries.

Charles Manson and the CIA

Charlie was brainwashed by MK/Ultra technicians while in prison and then released into Haight-Ashbury while being monitored by a CIA-connected free health clinic. The clinic was mostly collecting data on the synthetic mind-altering drugs flooding into Haight-Ashbury, much of which was courtesy of CIA-connected underground chemists. The CIA was curious to find out how their new analogues were affecting kids, and which ones were most useful in manufacturing violence, which turned out to be speed. So speed ended up in much of the so-called LSD.

The clinic helped assemble a hippie-chick harem composed entirely of vulnerable runaways to serve Charlie, while Charlie’s probation officer, who strangely had only one parolee (Charlie),  helped Charlie obtain a school bus for transporting the harem to Los Angeles, something that should have been a parole violation.

While in prison Charlie had been told to read Dale Carnegie (How to Win Friends and Influence People), Dianetics by L. Ron Hubbard and the science fiction novel Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein. He converted to Hubbard’s Scientology religion and learned how to use an e-meter to get inside people’s deepest fears and desires so as to better manipulate them.

Dennis and Charley.

He made friends with Dennis Wilson and moved his harem into Wilson’s house. Wilson introduced him to rock producer Terry Melcher, who turned Charlie down for a record deal, pissing Charlie off immensely.

After Charlie and his sidekick Bobby B. tortured and killed Gary Hinman over a drug deal gone sour, Charlie decided to foment some copycat murders to get Bobby off the hook. He sent his crew to Melcher’s house to kill him, not realizing Melcher had moved out and the pregnant Sharon Tate moved in.

Bobby Beausoleil’s Haight-Ashbury days.

The CIA-connected Weather Underground terrorist organization immediately branded Manson a counterculture hero for the bloody and senseless Tate-LaBianca murders, a tag they also imposed on another MK/Ultra robot, Sirhan Sirhan, the patsy for the RFK assassination.

Ed Sanders and Paul Krassner investigated the murders. Krassner was invited into a bathtub with naked Squeaky Fromme but the usually randy Krassner declined and soon dropped the investigation. “You’re not afraid of me, are you?” asked the disappointed Fromme.

In 1975,  Fromme came face-to-face with then-President Gerald Ford, ostensibly to discuss the plight of the California redwoods while dressed in a red robe and armed with a Colt M1911 .45-caliber semi-automatic pistol. The pistol’s magazine was loaded with four rounds, but no round was in the chamber. After Fromme produced the gun from under her robe and pulled the trigger, she was immediately restrained by Secret Service agent Larry Buendorf. While being handcuffed she mumbled on camera “it didn’t go off.” She was so poorly prepared Squeaky didn’t know how to operate the weapon. Ford’s demise would have elevated Nelson Rockefeller to the White House.

Six years later, Ronald Reagan was the target for a similar MK/Ultra-style assassination, one that would have elevated George H. W. Bush to the White House. The robot assassin was the son of an oil company executive close with the Bush family for decades, starting in Midlands, TX, favorite landing spot for rich Easterners seeking to cash in on the oil boom.

The Hinckleys were donors to various Bush political campaigns over the years and at one point, the two clans seemed to have shared the same lawyer. Neil Bush, son of the vice president, had been scheduled to have dinner with Hinckley’s brother, Scott, the day after the shooting.

Painting by the multi-talented Bobby Beausoleil

Sanders wrote a book implicating the Manson murders with a vast satanic network led by the Process Church of Final Judgment, a Scientology spinoff created in England. Soon a “Satanic Panic” infested deep state research culminating in the Tin Foil Hat Q-Anon movement.

The panic emanated initially out of the Presidio daycare center in San Francisco when four children were discovered with a sexually transmitted disease. Dozens more claimed memories of witnessing ritual ceremonies. A worker at the center (who’d previously been a Baptist minister) was convicted of lewd behavior involving ten children. The daycare center caught fire and was demolished. None of the children attendees were willing to set foot in the building, such was their trauma.

The Process and the Weather Underground used group sex with LSD to program their flock.

MK/Ultra investigations spread quickly from the Presidio to Boys Town, the most famous Catholic orphanage in America located outside Omaha, a city with the most documented cases of multiple personality disorder, as well as the highest percentage of CIA employees outside Langley, most posted to the nearby Strategic Air Command Canter, a site Bush W. flew to for refuge on 9/11.

Toddlers with no father figure (like Oswald or Manson) were considered prize targets for the mind experiments because programmers could so easily assume a father figure just by interrupting the abuse and providing some empathy. Interestingly, Manson had resided briefly in Boys Town before spending most of the rest of his life in reform school and prison, where he was always easy prey to programmers.

Process Church in Hollywood.

The satanic panic was a carefully-planned deflection away from the CIA’s MH/Chaos operations originally designed to destroy the peaceful counterculture movement by branding it as violent.

Steve Jenkins:
All in all, I am of the opinion this is a great post. I do take some exception to a few things however. Manson, did get a recording contract and did produce an album. It can be heard if one puts an effort into finding it online.

While Melcher did not produce it as near as I can tell, a highly regarded group of folks played a roll, starting with the .studio where it was recorded. Several Southern California heavy hitters on the Rock scene used this very same recoding studio.

Doris Day and son Terry Melcher.

Second, one can find many instances that raise serious questions about the argument that the Manson Clan were sent to Ciello Drive to kill Melcher. Tom O’Neil spends a great deal of time on this significant detail which was a key motive used by VB during the trial of the Manson Clan. If one looks at YouTube video interviews of Tex Watson he clearly states that Manson directed him to go to Terry Melcher’s “old” house and kill everyone there.

If words mean what they say, this is an indication that both Manson and Watson knew Melcher no longer lived there at the time of the murders.
This would of course back up O’Neils claim that the group was not sent there to kill Melcher in revenge for his lack of a recoding deal as claimed by VB during the trial.

As for how successful Manson’s album would or would not have been, it’s a matter of great debate. I personally have listened to a reasonable amount of Manson’s music and I am personally not a fan. Others who have achieved considerable success in the music Industry have a different view than I. The Beach Boys released a Manson song on once of their albums. They changed the name and did not credit him, but it is his song. Others have released songs by Manson as well…well known bands. The album itself was being finalized in the fall of 1969 and was not released until after Manson’s arrest. It’s difficult to calculate how much Manson’s Notoriety affected the promotion of this album.

The important stuff are his connections to CIA ops. I believe Dennis may have taken him to Terry’s to make the introduction. Whether he was targeting the house or targeting Terry doesn’t real matter in the long run.

If one really wants to understand what went on who was being targeted is pretty significant in terms of understanding. Manson is far more than two nights in early August of 1969. A focus on the murders that took place then as opposed to a bigger picture reduces the likelihood of developing an understanding of what Project Manson was really about and why it went off the rails. If one looks, one can find what might be best called the fingerprints of Intelligence dating back almost a decade before the killings at Cielo Drive.

Here’s a little detail few know about. I once tried to get an interview with Wavy about Manson. He said, “No Manson interviews.”

Wavy has been in my crosshairs for some time now. He married Bob Dylan’s first significant girlfriend. He is easily as important a subject of study as Manson.

Check out the Lyman family.

Yes, I grew up in the Boston Area. Lyman opens many windows for me.
I used to regularly park my car very close to Fort Hill…the central location of the Lyman Family. Lyman intersects with Manson all over the place. Manson’s writing has appeared in Avatar, the Fort Hill publication. Linda Kasabian, key witness vs the Manson’s and who did no jail time lived at Fort Hill before moving to LA. Her husband lived at the Hog Farm at the time of the killings. The Hog Farm, the Spahn Ranch, and Fort Hill share remarkable similarities.

After becoming editor of High Times, I was able to hire writers on deep state machinations, something not being done by anyone else in the media, aside from fanzines, of which there were many. Painfully, I discovered the famous writers were digging rabbit holes. Nobody was trying to unveil the operatives inside the counterculture media. I sadly published highly dubious stories by the likes of Robert Anton Wilson, Paul Krassner, Alex Constantine and others.

Aside from that I was flooded with Tin Foil Hat submissions. My most prominent researcher was Dick Russell, a former writer to media powerhouses TV Guide and Sports Illustrated. Dick had spent years investigating the CIA regarding the JFK assassination and had scored major interviews with Angelton and other CIA bigwigs. The only other journalist to have such a relationship is Ron Rosenbaum, a leading disinfo operator who helped demolish the reputation of Danny Casolaro. Dick focussed his investigation on Richard Case Nagell, reportedly a double agent inside the Stasi who was tasked with the mission of killing Oswald. Instead, Nagell fired a round inside a bank in order to get himself put into jail.

Nagell placed under arrest shortly before JFK’s assassination.

Nagell had a lot of inside info on CIA ops and wrote highly entertaining letters. He kept people on the hook for decades anticipating some huge breakthrough that never arrived. I guess you know every year the CIA floated a new breakthrough, all of which turned out to be misdirections: KGB did it, Cuba did it, the mob did it, the driver did it, LBJ did it, etc. Nagell’s rabbit hole was called H.L. Hunt did it.

Dick did a book with Jesse Ventura. His work is meticulously well-researched and much higher caliber than Ron Rosenbaum. More recently, he made an anti-Trump website, and has appeared at JFK assassination events run by the completely quacky Judyth Vary Baker. Dick lives in the secretive Lyman compound in Los Angles. The family seems very, very wealthy.

I have been paying a great deal of attention to Dick Russell for a while now. Your input here has been very helpful as it is consistent with my current thoughts on several folks I have looked up to in the past. I admit to having been fooled more then twice. I propose a conference call with Mark Mueller and Roy Johnson and myself. We all work together. I have been researching this exact topic for the last year or so and I have widened my lense considerably including potential links to the Boston Strangler and many many other seemingly unrelated events that I now believe are related. Note how many forwards Russell has written in Kennedy assassin books….note who has published most of these. Look at how closely he has intersected with two potential national candidates…Ventura….Kennedy. Thanks again for your input…you have added to my knowledge particularly about Russell who I once really looked up to.

Can’t do conference calls or interviews. But I have put everything I know into this website, and you should check it out in detail. I could never figure out why my once-famous career got throttled, mostly by the lawyer who stole High Times, who turned out to be connected to Chip Berlet, AJ Weberman and Ron Rosenbaum. I assume they were all MH/Chaos. You might enjoy my Youtube playlist Everything You Know is Twisted. I’m basically retired and tired of jockeying with agents of disinfo, most of whom have no idea they have been led into a rabbit hole. You can’t do deep state research without being blanketed by them.

The Fun Vibe

There are a lot of vibe trails, good and bad, but the fun vibe is the best. It’s a delicate trail, easily lost. Sometimes it can disappear for decades. As legend goes, Neal Cassady surfed the hum of a gear-shift, scouted the fun vibe and gave it to the Beat Crew. The Pranksters got the trail from Cassady and shared it with Jerry Garcia, Timothy Leary and the Beatles. Some people dream about being a rock star, but I always dreamed of being a Merry Prankster and riding Furthur’s top deck with Cassady at the helm.

In 1997, High Times began advertising the first Hemp World’s Fair in Oregon, just a few miles from where Ken Kesey, Ken Babbs and the Merry Pranksters were living. Our hope was to combine forces with the best vibe scouts we could find, hold a sacred ceremony and find the center of the true fun vibe.

Early in the spring, I flew out to Oregon and met Ken Babbs and the owner of a possible 15-acre site. Well, the site looked good and plans were going great. The focal point of the event was going to be a silent meditation on Sunday from dawn until noon, followed by an OM. Babbs gave the event its name (WHEE!).

But we hit a glitch as the Pranksters unexpectedly pulled out.

“We have to do a July tour in Europe for our record company,” said Babbs sadly over the phone. But I still had Stephen Gaskin, Paul Krassner, John Trudell, Dennis Peron and a bunch of other good scouts. It was too late to call WHEE! off. The truth, however, would emerge at 4:20 pm on opening day as the Pranksters intended to play a prank on me all along.

The original plan had to be adjusted several times.

After months of preparations, I arrived to start construction. Although the main stage was built and water and power lines had been dug for some booths and kitchens, it was really just a barren field with a two-stories of twisted metal, rotten wood and garbage piled in the center. About 40 people were camped around the property. Zero and Roberto rode into camp with me.

Just looking at the pile of garbage made me dizzy. The Oregon sun was blazing. The only shade was a grove of pine trees way over in the parking lot. I knew the crew would melt down quick unless they got a steady supply of food and water. Fortunately, Sun Dog Kitchen was on site, straight from the nearby Rainbow Gathering.

I entered the Sun Dog camp and immediately caught sight of some freshly born pups. “Aww, puppies,” I said lurching forward. Like a fearless Zen master, the mom darted out from a picnic table and sunk two teeth into my Levis at the knee. “Damn,” I said, “You just ruined my best rainbow-stripe jeans.” Meanwhile, I’m thinking what a bad omen this is. After I customize my jeans, I tend to get overly attached to them.

“I fingered the hole and noticed the strike was surgical, not a mark on my flesh. The Sun Dog crew jumped out of the corners to get between me and the angry mom.

“There’s no dogs… supposed to be here,” I snarled.

Roberto appeared. “I have a dog,” he said wistfully. “Look, there’re dogs all over the place.” As he swept his hand across the horizon, I noticed three or four more dogs scampering about.

Lee, Stevie D’s straw boss, let me know he was vexed by the mission of preparing 3,000 free meals over the next week.

“Whatta ya need, Lee?” I said. “Give me a wish list.”

The site before construction started.

I walked out into the field and called council. Mostly young brothers came, many of whom seemed to be from One Love Zion Train, a tour group sponsored by Universal Life Church of One Love. They handed me an envelope filled with flyers and propaganda on their noble quest to scout the vibe all summer.

“Come on, boys,” I shouted. “We’re on a sacred mission to build hippie Disneyland! And we only got six days to do it!”

“What do you want us to do?” asked five voices and 40 faces.

“First, we gotta get rid of that pile of trash!” In a matter of seconds 80 hands hit the garbage pile.”

“Come on Stoney,” I said walking toward the rented Ford pickup. “We gotta make a supply run. Where’s that wish list?”

Before the day was through, Stoney and I visited every discount center in Eugene, and that Ford had with enough food and drink for 50 people for three days, along with every other type of supplies we might need, including 20 pairs of work gloves and a precious erase board and five fluorescent erase markers.

At sundown, after we made it back to the site, the garbage pile was half gone. A gorgeous sunset cloud formation appeared over the stage, while behind us, an almost full moon rose over the mountains. A dozen geese flew past in V formation. “Squawk, squawk,” said Alpha Goose as they whooshed toward the sunset. I felt their bird energy as they scouted their vibe trail. Sun Dog blew the conch for dinner. We circled up, held hands and did an OM, followed by everyone throwing their hands in the air and yelling, “Whee!”

JULY 14

We believe in doing what is right and respecting others, with no judgments or dogma, only true love and respect for all living beings. All faiths are connected to the One and the One is connected to us. The train is an ongoing experience for the caravaners of voluntarily spreading the unity love vibrations that make this the 30th anniversary of the Summer of Love.”

I was sitting in the back of an RV parked next to the stage reading a flyer created by a large tribe of volunteers who arrived first on site. The radios arrived late, so it was hard to get the crews properly coordinated. So far, we had 14 members of Sun Dog and 73 other assorted volunteers on site, two dozen of whom were part of the Zion Love Train.

Garrick Beck rolled in, set up his tipi and split. Garrick, Plunker and John Buffalo were hired as crew chiefs on the Temple Dragon Crew (TDC), which was supposed to handle people problems inside the venue and protect the ceremonial spaces. I tried to encourage them to arrive early by saying whoever rolled in and started work first would be security crew chief. That turned out to be a big mistake. Three days before the other two, Buffalo reported in.

Hippie security is a little-known art form that has been evolving inside the counterculture for over 40 years. Groups like the Diggers in Haight-Ashbury were among the earliest proponents of this art form. Whenever anything bad would happen on the streets of the Haight, local residents would try to handle the problem using nonviolent persuasion. For example, if some brother disrespected a sister, that person would suddenly find himself surrounded by people wanting to discuss, in a quiet, rational manner, why the brother felt it was okay to be disrespectful. The fact no one would resort to anger or violence would usually throw the perpetrator so off-guard that he’d end up analyzing and apologizing for his inappropriate behavior. Techniques of nonviolent communication were eventually perfected even further by the Merry Pranksters, who knew how to “create a movie,” pull a person into that movie and alter the perceptual frame of reference of a situation to their own benefit.

Many professional security guards rely on telepathic hostility and thinly veiled threats of physical harm to enforce rules. But hippie security never resorts to hints of violence. Every security situation is unique and negotiable. Over the past 30 years, the Rainbow Family Gathering has been a superb training ground for people interested in studying nonviolent security techniques. The Shanti Sena (peace eyes) is the name that has evolved for this group. The subculture emerged out of Vortex, an event actually created secretly by the governor of Oregon to lure protesters away from Portland by allowing them to hold a free rock festival in the woods far from any cities. The event was so successful, the governor came out to help with clean up and thank all the hippies. He ended up in a giant OM circle and was apparently never quite the same again. And neither were many other participants in the OM for they were soon planning an even bigger gathering to be held in Colorado. They landed near Strawberry Lake close to the Continental Divide.

Plunker and Amazin’ Dave are the leaders of the Rainbow Shanti Sena. Both are Vietnam vets, except Plunker came from the backwoods of Montana, and Dave’s family are big-wigs in Texas close to the Bush family. Dave and Plunker have been hard-wired together since Vortex. For decades Dave served as Rainbow’s FBI-liason and assisted their investigation into the murders of two women who attempted to hitch-hike to the West Virginia gathering. That case dragged on for years and took many twists and turns before the man convicted ended up being exonerated.

The strangest thing happened on the day the radios arrived and were turned on for the first time. We were getting massive interference and had to call in the radio rental company to try and fix the problem. The engineer they sent out did a sweep and found a transmitter inside the front-right hubcap on my RV. I assumed it was a low-jack-type device, but after the event was over, I asked the owner and she assured me her RV did not have a GPS transmitter.

Amazin’ Dave showed up and I hired him on the spot. He moved into the Mission Control RV with me to handle the late-night problems while I was asleep. Six22 was handling the boo-boos. His cat Ganja moved into the RV with me and Dave.

By the end of the day, the garbage pile was gone and the fence was ready to go up.

JULY 16

The professional, licensed-and-bonded company we hired for 24-hour security had rolled in and set up on the 15th. I explained we had our own internal security crew. I wanted the professional crew to work the perimeter and guard the fence, but I didn’t want them to deal with people. That was for TDC. If we had serious problems, we could always call in the professional security guards. But I was confident TDC could handle the job.

However, during the night, the professionals suddenly packed up and left without so much as an explanation. I stayed up all night at the front gate without a single security guard on duty, feeling like Michael Corleone at the hospital in The Godfather.

John Buffalo arrived early in the morning and I explained the situation. “I’m making you crew chief of TDC, and you have to coordinate all security,” I told him.”

Meanwhile, Diego’s bus rolled in to set up the Gypsy Village, and Felipe’s bus rolled in to set up Family Village. The site map had changed drastically already, so I drew the current map on the erase board and discussed possible locations. Both crews picked new sites and started putting up tents and tarps. The Gypsies brought a huge circus tent for workshops and seminars.

We had a fence crew, sign painting crew, vendor staking crew, carpenter crew, fire pit crew, kitchen crew, Gypsy crew, tipi circle crew, stage crew and Family Village crew all working feverishly by mid-afternoon.

The biggest change in the map came when I staked a huge area overlooking a small pond as Doggie Village. There were supposed to be about 50 vendors on that very spot, and I was already wondering how I was going to explain this to people who had paid for those booths.

JULY 17

The vendors started arriving early in the day, and most were shocked to find the site map wasn’t the same anymore. Beth, who had been recently hired as vending director of the Hemp Expo, was greeting vendors as they rolled in. Poor Beth was engulfed by hysteria. I could identify with her situation and tried to help. The most remarkable thing about the whole event was how Beth kept her head and never melted down once.

Most of the vendors were actually quite nice and friendly and easy to deal with once the new site was explained. However, we had a few problem cases, like the Babylon vendor, who was selling Pepsi and hot dogs out of an RV with a generator. I put him in Bus Village, where he belonged. He happily took that spot, but by the end of the day, he tore down the fence separating Bus Village from the site and demanded to be moved inside. Garrick moved him to the Gypsy camp, but the Gypsy crew exploded after he turned on his generator. The fumes were blowing right into the Casbah Tea House. So we moved him again, this time right next to our beautiful fire pit, where his exhaust blew into the amphitheater. Even so, he kept complaining about all the money he was losing.

“Nobody wants your Babylon food,” I said finally. “Why don’t you go solar and sell organic food, or better yet, pack up and leave?” Of course, he was making plenty of money and had no intention of leaving.

Around this time, most of the High Times staff were arriving for the first time, and there was tremendous confusion between the property owner, the Rainbows and the newly arrived HT staff. This was my fault for not holding an orientation meeting, but everyone was working so hard, I didn’t want them to stop. Some people continued to be confused because the site had changed from the original map. There were over 30 radios on site, plus a large number of CB units, and Thursday was the day of radio screaming. If the slightest problem came up, meltdowns would start yelling on the radio.

Plunker saw me starting to melt down, came in, led a silent meditation circle, and we went back to work. Plunker had taken charge of the fire pit. Fire was a real hazard, due to a lot of dry straw on the ground. Plunker led the response to the Great Wyoming Rainbow Gathering Fire, when several thousand Rainbows stomped out a three-acre blaze which had topped the trees and threatened to destroy an entire national forest.

Firepit opening ceremony. I’m in the white hat and Plunker in the black.

The final fire pit was heart-shaped, facing the Gypsy stage, with four rows of amphitheater seating carved out of the mound of earth displaced to make the pit. It was so beautifully constructed I almost burst into tears just looking at it. Felipe came down from Family Village to lead a service and sanctify us with sage as we lit the ceremonial flame at sundown.

That night, the vendor crew stayed up until 3 A.M. leading convoys of vendors into the site, making sure their vehicles were parked safely.

JULY 18

On opening day, the medical crew that had agreed to work the event did not show. Another crew, led by midwife Daphne Singingtree, came in on an hour’s notice. Daphne had been lobbying hard for the job for three months, so I was happy to see her roll in with an entire medical team.

Cathy Baker and her mom Judy had arrived to take charge of the money. She was jumping around with a big knot on her third eye, all frantic, unable to make clear decisions. I’d already lost my voice from having to talk to large crowds for six days, so I tried to stay low-key and not let her energy penetrate me. She spent most of her time asking people what I was doing wrong so she could demonstrate her power and influence over me. She never asked me what needed to be done. But Cathy was surprised to discover the hardest working staffers were volunteers and loyal to me. “Why do you listen to him?” Cathy would ask them. She’d been trained by the lawyer who stole High Times to mistrust my motives.

“Listen,” I said softly, “I’ve got an important mission for you. I want you to go to Sun Dog, pour yourself some fresh lemonade and wait until I get there.”

Cathy Baker makes an appearance in the hilarious “The Strategic Meeting” a 20-part playlist on my Youtube site that gives the first accurate inside look at High Times internal politics.

Neither Cathy nor her mom stayed for the Sunday ceremony (the whole point of the event). They ended up vastly overpaying most of the volunteer crew, and then stiffed the property owner. He had invited them into his home because he wanted a meeting without me present. But he didn’t realize the scope of their imperial standards. Judy was so upset by having to sit on a stained chair in a filthy house she departed the site without giving him the $5,000 he was still owed.

Commander Gorman had taken over the mic at Mission Control. Early in the day a few people ran up on him with requests over the radio he didn’t feel like dealing with just that second. In retaliation, they changed the name of his post to Mission Impossible. The new name stuck for the remainder of the event.

The parking lots were in chaos, but inside the fence was peaceful hippie heaven, with lots of good food at low prices. The stage was even running close to schedule. The 420 Show with the Cannabis Cup Band rocked and was the main event of the day. Engineer Charlie sculpted a wonderful sound. A crew meeting was scheduled for 11 P.M., just after the main stage closed.

Since I could barely talk above a whisper, Garrick was crew chief on the meeting. I drew a map on the erase board to show how the site had changed and where the new fire lanes were. Then all hell broke loose. Everyone was pissed about the problems in the parking lots (which were being operated under the supervision of the property owner), and the lack of laminates for free food. For about an hour there was a lot of hot air, but no solutions. Then Gideon spoke.

Gideon is not the sort of brother who does a lot of talking at council. Although he’s a big bear of a man, he scouts a very mellow vibe. But Gideon was all fired up, like Crazy Horse talking to the Lakota warriors before the Custer fight. He laid out a plan and offered to hold down the night gate himself. Then he led the crew in a chant of “Break even, break even.”

JULY 19

I drove into camp around 8 A.M., having spent the night at the Ramada Inn. Gideon was still on the gate, a big wad of cash in his fanny pack. I parked and walked around camp, moving signs to their proper locations, stocking the info booth that hadn’t quite happened yet and checking the fire lanes.

While I walked TDC on the backline, I pulled up on a huge spotted male dog, who could have been cast as White Fang in a Jack London movie. The dog held a long stare on my eyes, and I stared back while I reached for my radio mike.”

“Mission Impossible, we got a big Alpha off its leash.”

“This is Doggie Village, what’s your twenty?”

“Between Doggie Village and Gypsy tent.”

“We’ll pick up the dog.”

“Ten-four. Over and out.”

It was amazing how fast the radio could fix things. It was like a magic wand that made energy clouds appear like so many tornados.

Later that day, I got a big surprise when Ken Kesey and the Pranksters, all wearing green masks, pulled up in front of Mission Impossible in a white Cadillac convertible. Babbs jumped out of the back seat and showed me his watch.

“Look,” he said triumphantly, “it’s exactly 4:20!”

“Commander Gorman, get this crew on stage immediately!” I shouted.

“Ten-four,” said Peter.

Babbs handed me a green hemp scarf with rainbow stripes. It had two holes cut for my eyes.

There was a lot of noise and chaos. Everybody was pressing toward us because they wanted to meet the Pranksters. But I had a telepathic moment with Babbs, when time slowed and the background faded. He spoke to me in a silent way only Kenmasters know how to do.

“If you put on this magic mask,” he said, “you’ll become invisible.”

A flock of geese flew overhead and burst our bubble. Everything sped up and got crazy again. Next thing I knew, I was on stage wearing the mask, being introduced by Fantuzzi as Phoenix 420.

Birth of the masked Phoenix.

“One week ago, I fell asleep in the back of a car after a party,” I said. “When I woke up, the car was parked in the center of this field. Only it didn’t look like this. There was no hippie Disneyland. There was only a two-story pile of twisted metal, wood and garbage. And forty hungry, homeless hippies! And the next day we were a hundred homeless hippies! And we built this New Jerusalem! I guess they wanted me to say this because I was one of the crew who worked so hard! So let’s hear it for the crews, who worked for free!… In case you don’t know, WHEE’s name came from Ken Babbs. He’s one of the Merry Pranksters, the greatest vibe scouts of our time. The Merry Pranksters couldn’t be here because of some Babylonian record-company tour. But we do have the Green Vipers, so let’s have a warm welcome for the Green Vipers!”

And out walked Kesey, Babbs, Mountain Girl and their crew.
Meanwhile, I melted into the crowd to explore my newfound invisibility.

Kesey, Gaskin, Babbs.

Just then the strangest thing happened. I began reading auras for the first time in my life. The overwhelming majority of people at the event were radiating happy vibrations. But there was a very small minority with darker emanations. Instead of walking around the site, I found myself seated on the ground in a hidden spot with a clear view of the kids’ playground. I was convinced an evil force was watching the children, and I began paying close attention to a tall, middle-aged man with a military haircut who was hanging out at a vending booth next to Family Village. He was watching kids playing on the swing sets and jungle gyms we’d erected. I noticed the man did not have a wristband, indicating he had not paid to enter the venue. I decided to work my best Temple Dragon magic on him, so I walked up with a big smile on my face.

“Howdy, brother,” I said, “are we having fun yet?” He eyed me suspiciously and gave no comment.

“Hey, where’s your wristband?” I continued. “Everybody’s got to have a wristband.”

He smirked but said nothing.”

“I’ve got some extra wristbands if you need one,” I continued, reaching into my purple hemp fanny pack. “You should put one on so security doesn’t kick you out. If you can’t afford to pay the admission fee, that’s no problem, I’ll give you a wristband anyway. But if you can make a donation, we’d really appreciate it because we didn’t break even on this event. In fact, we’ve lost thousands of dollars. So if you could afford a small donation, we’d really appreciate it.”

“I don’t haf any money,” he said with a thick German accent.

“No problem,” I said putting the band on his wrist. “Why not just open your wallet and show me? And if it’s empty, then you don’t have to pay anything.”

There was a long pause and I watched him take mental notes on my Temple Dragon belt, with its radio, flashlight, medical supplies and various Batman-like emergency tools. He knew he was dealing with someone who could call in reinforcements. Although I was all smiles and happiness, inside I was beaming telepathic messages that I knew what he was all about and I could read his mind like a book. Rather than show me his wallet, he reached in his pocket, pulled out a wad of cash and handed me a 20.

“Gee, thanks,” I said.

Just then Felipe walked by and I made a big deal of introducing him to the stranger. But he abruptly broke off from us and walked away without telling us his name.

“There’s something funny about him,” I said. “He’s been staring at the kids and I don’t like his vibes.”

Felipe nodded his head and agreed he seemed a bit out-of-place. We began spreading word among the TDC to keep an eye on him. But he must have known something was up because he left the site within an hour and never came back.

JULY 20

By 8 A.M. it was apparent Sunday was going to go into the high 90s with high humidity. A silent meditation was planned for the main meadow. We made a supply run for ice, water, soda and coolers. As we passed Family Village, the “no smoking of any kind” zone, Felipe, the ceremony crew chief, emerged.

“We better postpone that ceremony until sundown,” I said. “Otherwise people will be fainting out there. We also need a pole for people to circle around.”

“I’ll work on that,” said Felipe.

On the way back to Mission Impossible, I changed the daily event sign at the entrance to read: “OM at Sunset.”

I rode the TDC vibe for the rest of the day, cruising in Gideon’s golf cart. “This is more fun than golfing,” I told everyone. I found two kids at Family Village who wanted to see their mom at Doggie Village. “Wanna go for a ride? Only if Felipe says OK.”

I took the back fire lane so they had a great view of the pond on one side and the dog run on the other. All sorts of dogs came out to greet us as we cruised past, some staked and some running free. When we got to the corner, I noticed the big Alpha I’d seen on the trail, all fenced in tight by himself with a sign reading “Doggie Jail.” “Why is that doggie in jail?” “Because he’s not a nice doggie.” “Can we go inside Doggie Village now?” “Yes, here’s your mommy.”

As I drove off, I heard the kids shouting, “Mommy, there’s been a mistake, this is not a bad doggie!”

“Mission Impossible, we got a jailbreak at Doggie Village. Two dangerous suspects from Family Village, about four feet high, just tore down the walls of Doggie Jail.”

But that Alpha walked out so meek and gentle and grateful to those kids, that the Doggie Village crew never put him back in Doggie Jail again. Isn’t it funny how adults can learn from kids?

Mission Impossible called me on the radio to tell me that a Krishna crew wanted to come into camp for free. I drove to the gate to greet them and make sure they were comfortable. “Be sure and catch the OM at sunset,” I told them.

Backstage, there was the typical moment of confusion because I always insist the ceremonies be as spontaneous as possible, with lots of improvisation and no script. Naturally, this drives the tech-heads up a wall! And the ceremony crew gets blamed for ruining the clockwork machinery of their rock show.

But because it was Sunday, the stage manager Alvin gladly powered up the wireless so Felipe could scout the vibe by the sacred Peace Pole that had been hastily erected. An old, well-traveled pole it was, with lots of carvings and a purple quartz crystal on top. Gaskin, Plunker and many others started to form the circle, but the circle got confused because there were too many people for just one circle in such a small space.

A Japanese monk jumped on the line and began spiraling it toward the center. Everyone got involved in the spiral hand-dance. When it ended, everyone was holding hands. A call went out for the crew to come to the pole. Gaskin and I walked slowly to the pole and were actually the first to get there. I hugged the pole while the entire 300-person crew hugged me. Tear ducts burst open in every eye, like waves in a sports stadium. My heart opened and I sobbed with joy from the telepathic energy.

Then came the WHEE! OM. “Whee cranked the vibe,” I said while hugging Gaskin.

Late that night, I was getting weird vibes from Plunker who began shadowing me around the site keeping me under surveillance. A large group of the working crew were his associates from Rainbow, and some of them had obviously developed a negative attitude on me. I was being portrayed by some as an exploiter of Rainbow. Apparently, by not anointing alpha Plunker as TDC team leader had been a blunder as there was a lot of ego-jockeying going on. Plunker seemed convinced I was planning to flee the site with the cash. At least I heard him muttering something to that effect to his amigos. This evil intuition on his part could only be due to the fact Plunker handles the cash collected at Rainbow. He could never figure out where the money came and went to because he was watching me and what Plunker never understood about me is I never touched the money at any of my events, or even took any money beyond my High Times salary and travel, room and board during the event. The most common cause for getting fired at High Times was getting caught stealing, and it happened frequently, but the lawyer who stole High Times could never fire me for stealing because I never touched the money, although he had investigators digging into my financial situation to make sure, something he once confided in me. So Michael Kennedy had to look for other reasons to get rid of me. He ghosted my attempt to seek his assistance in mounting a religious rights case to the Supreme Court even though Constitutional Law was his specialty and began spreading the story I was a wanna-be cult leader.

I was on a sacred mission of peace and had no interest in enrichment beyond the satisfaction of attempting to hand down peace culture to the next generation.

JULY 22

Babbs improvises.

Babbs came out to the Ramada to meet the clean-up crew. Zero, Tammy, Donna Eagle, Alvin, Edison, G. Moses and me. We held a playful ceremony upon his arrival and Babbs was so honored he made up a little song on the spot just for the crew’s pleasure.

When is it all right to be too tight?

I can think of one extraordinary night when it was all right to be too tight.

I was so drunk

I couldn’t even stand up.

I fell asleep on the riverbank.

The cops came and arrested everybody else and they never got me.
So it was all right to be too tight.

But you still… can’t… roll… the joints… too tight.

“Thank you, thank you,” said Babbs. “That was a spontaneous song I’ve been practicing for the last twenty-two years and this was the first time I’ve had a chance to sing it. I want to thank you for lasting through the whole thing.”

After the song, I filled Babbs in on the baby girl that had been born in the pine trees at 2:22 Monday morning.

“There was a cry in the woods of ‘help me, help me,’ and TDC came running fast ’cause we thought a sister was being raped. Her cousin was with her and said, ‘Calm down, everybody. Jamie’s just having a baby.’ The cousin caught the baby coming out, and was assisted by a former EMT medic named Sunray. The baby was named Cassady Sunflower Phoenix. The cord was tied with Amazin’ Dave’s hemp twine. Garrick was on the scene. I rolled up just as the baby popped out and interviewed everyone involved. Daphne Singingtree was there, too. It was a real warrior birth. That child might be a great leader some day.”

“It just shows to go you that when things happen, they come into a lot of minds at the same time,” said Babbs.

Babbs wanted drink, but the crew kept feeding him water and pizza. “Don’t end up like Jack,” I said. “Don’t melt down and stay melted. Big Sur, that was his best book. He could’ve called it Big Meltdown.”

“Kerouac, Ginsberg, they died relatively young,” said Babbs. “It’d be great if they were still around. Cassady was unique. All the factions of the Beat crew revolved around Cassady because he knew what they were all talking about. They all strove to be like Cassady. You know what it was? Cassady really dealt on the lag. The one-thirtieth of a second between when you think of something and when you say it. He was always trying to beat the lag. So what he said had to do with what was happening right then. That was Cassady’s thing. And he was always working on it as an artist. And at a certain point he knew that’s what he was doing. But it was such a dangerous thing because speed freaks would try to emulate him, to be rapping all the time, but they weren’t talking about anything, whereas Cassady was really talking about something. He was the true Avatar. The True Seeker of the Vibe.”

“Then the crew introduced Babbs to Cassady the dog, the same dog the kids had busted out of Doggie Jail.

“He was abandoned on the site,” said Six22. “He’s my dog now.”

The evening turned into a fun ceremony while Babbs relayed details of staying on the vibe trail. I caught on right away it was wrong to say “we crank the vibe.” The vibe cranks itself. You have to be humble when you scout the vibe. Babbs put this information across in such a gentle manner everyone knew it was truly so.

“Hail the fun vibe,” said the crew.

“I pulled a prank with the Merry Pranksters,” I said to Babbs, falling to my knees. “Can I be a Merry Prankster, too?”

“Sure,” said Babbs. “Let’s go out in the moonlight and do the induction right now!”

Since the Ramada was located inside a freeway cloverleaf complex, the crew was reluctant to set foot off motel property, but Babbs led us through some bushes and we unexpectedly popped out on a river bank near a rose garden.
“Everyone take a big whiff,” said Babbs, while pointing at the rose blossoms with a large speckled hawk feather. The feather shimmered and sparkled in the moonlight.

I got sleepy right away and lay down on a grassy knoll. The full moon had an orange glow around it, with psychedelic trails busting out all over. There was a roar of thunder and a cloud of dust, and Furthur, the original psychedelic bus, pulled up with Ken Kesey at the wheel. Babbs led the crew up the back ladder to some seats on the roof. The bus blasted off toward Interstate 5, and actually left the ground and flew into a dark, angry twister that looked about ready to touch ground and create all sorts of havoc.

When the black smoke cleared, the bus was cruising through a hundred miles of hempfields on both sides of the road. The plants were lush with birds of all colors and descriptions which flew up to us in great flocks and sang about how much fun it was to live in a hempfield, with endless food in all directions.

Furthur stopped on a cliff overlooking a lake with a view of the sunrise. There was a bonfire party going on. Krassner and Gaskin were there. So was Patti Smith talking to Bob Dylan. Julian Beck, Judith Malina, Joan Baez and the Tin Man were having a conversation with Jack Herer! But the most amazing thing was that all four Beatles were listening to Neal Cassady, who was hanging onto a gearshift knob with one end in the fire. And Cassady was talking about scouting the vibe!”

I found myself walking between Kesey and Babbs, headed straight for the fire. “We noticed this with Cassady,” whispered Kesey. “The gearshift is the chord. The crew harmonizes because everyone is on the same gearshift chord.”

Kesey stopped and turned to me as if to say something really important. “Strong pot without a message is just a buzz. If you take cocaine, you’ll often pick up a real bad vibe because it’s traveling through those hands. Real nice dope, there’s nothing wrong with it… doesn’t have to be strong. You can tell how important it is by how much energy is raised to fight it.”

“Is this when I get inducted?” I asked.

“Don’t you know?” laughed Cassady, slapping me on the chest. “You’ve always been a Merry Prankster in your heart.”

Everyone laughed because I had what I’d wanted all along and never even knew it. I also felt embarrassed because I’d been so overly caught up with the money situation during the event, just trying to break even somehow. I felt if the event lost too much money, I’d end up losing my job at High Times. But now I instinctively understood if you want to hold a true counterculture ceremony, admission must always be free.

Next thing I knew, I was asleep on the riverbank near the rose bush, almost alone, only the dog Cassady watching over me. On the way back to the Ramada, I found a large speckled hawk feather, and it remains in my straw cowboy hat to this day.”

If you doubt any of this, just watch the video replay:

 

Friction, Fog and Clogs

The Dutch Santa accompanied by “Black Pete.”

The Cannabis Cup has a center of gravity, and I can feel it. The crew and I are sitting down to breakfast at the Barbizon Palace across the the street from Amsterdam’s Central Station. If anything were to happen to us, this event would certainly spin into instant chaos. In fact, it already has, since we’ve just discovered the annual Sinterklaas parade is shutting down the city tomorrow exactly when we’re supposed to be launching a fleet of buses from the front of the Victoria Hotel.

“No battle plan survives first contact with friction,” I mutter as I survey the $45 breakfast served in a room with no windows and really bad feng shui. I knew it was going to be difficult surviving the recent collapse of the dollar versus the euro, but I didn’t realize the Dutch version of Santa Claus was going to sabotage us. How would we get our attendees to the expo on the outskirts of the city if the smoker-friendly buses couldn’t get through? The 20th Cup hadn’t even officially started and already we’d slammed into a major clog.

THE FUNCTION OF CEREMONIES

Everything is made from energy and energy travels in waves. Some like to define human energy through channels they dub “chakras,” but I like to define telepathy as being psychic gravity because even though people can’t see it, touch it or hear it, everyone knows it’s there because they feel it every time they walk up stairs. You can’t see, touch nor hear telepathy, but you feel its impact during ceremonies. The bigger the ceremony, the stronger the telepathy. Telepathy comes in flavors so a peace circle and a panic-stricken mob produce much different states of mind.

The science of affecting telepathy is called “magic.” Energies can harmonize, repel or remain neutral. The mind is a complex system with many facets but the integration has a center of gravity. When your psyche loses its center, confusion arises. Societies have a center of gravity and so do ceremonies.

All ceremonies run on magic. Most family ceremonies are designed to amplify empathy, and the center is revealed by the seating arrangement at the ceremonial feast. Ceremonies are the best defense against depression, but they can also be triggers for breakdowns because positive energy attracts negativity. So while ceremonies can create harmony, they can also expose dissonance and create flame-outs, burnouts and meltdowns. The counterculture learned to deal with dissonance, friction, fog and clogs in a somewhat kinder, gentler fashion, something known as “staying in the flow.” A true master of ceremonies can drain energy off an antagonist.

Clogs are the natural enemy of energy. Friction can slow things down, but clogs result when movement stops. Depression is a psychic clog. It’s perfectly okay to have unhappy feelings, but that becomes a problem if you can’t move on to more positive ground. The most important thing Stephen Gaskin taught me is that enlightenment is not like ringing a bell or climbing a mountain. “It’s not like you get somewhere and stay there forever,” explained Gaskin. “Nobody is enlightened all the time.” Ceremonies can lead people to a positive place, but nobody can stay positive forever.

Fog is like friction in that it slows down movement, but different in that it’s not based on dissonance, unexpected snafus or communication breakdowns but self-delusion, similar to being love-struck or paralyzed with fear. Fog creates bliss bunnies who can’t fix problems because they don’t see them. In moderation, cannabis enhances empathy and harmonization, but in excess, it produces fog.

I didn’t start my journalism career seeking to evolve into an expert on magic and religion, but once I created the Cannabis Cup, I couldn’t help but investigate that history. The word “cannabis” came down to us from the Scythians, who built the road linking Europe with China and India. “Ma,” “magi,” “magic” and “marijuana” all stem from the Chinese word for cannabis, and this history has mostly been eradicated, but enough traces remain to conclude Zoroastrianism, Judaism and Christianity were all born as cannabis cults, a tradition that also runs through Pythagoras, the Oracle at Delphi, and Socrates (who was assassinated by the state for the crime of “corrupting the youth”).

Many revelations regarding magic were revealed to me through my organizing ceremonies around cannabis for decades, starting in 1967 and continuing to the present. My sensitivity to telepathic energy became enhanced as a result, and this was especially so through the Cannabis Cup.

A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE CUP

I had no idea what I was getting into when I created the Cannabis Cup. I thought I might help bring attention to the importance of breeding quality cannabis seeds. When the event started in 1987, there were only a handful of cannabis-seed merchants around the world. Now there are thousands. The first Cup was attended by me, a photographer and a former grower, Dr. Indoors. Three seed companies entered: two Dutch, one American. The entire event was a two-day affair; there wasn’t even an awards show. It was so under-funded that I refused to attend the next four Cups, also run on shoestring budgets. When I heard the publisher was trying to kill the event, saying I was using company funds so me and my friends could get a junket, a different member of my staff was sent. During this time, the Dutch laws regarding seed companies kept shifting, and we were never sure which were actually willing to enter until days before the event. One year all the seed companies dropped out and it turned into a coffeeshop crawl. All the entries were low-grade, the sort of commercial fare offered at tourist traps.

So I decided to return for the 6th Cup, and also opened the event to tourists. Fifty Americans bought tickets. The first 420 ceremony took place and the silver cups handcrafted by Robin “The Hammer” Ludwig appeared.

The next Cup included the world’s first Hemp Expo, which quickly inspired similar events all over Europe as hemp became closely tied with the green movement.

The 8th Cup was the first to fully engage the issue of spiritual rights for cannabis users. Alex Grey, the world’s most celebrated psychedelic artist, created the official art, and Stephen Gaskin, who had petitioned the Supreme Court for cannabis spiritual rights, delivered the first 420 address at the expo.

Gray and Gaskin were two of the most enlightened people I knew, and along with Garrick Beck from the Rainbow Family, they created an interpretation of the Rig Veda’s Soma ritual for the opening ceremony. Garrick brought over the Rainbow Gypsy Theater to stage an Alice in Wonderland  production for the awards show that included dancers, singers, drummers, along with stage and costume designers, all happening on a scale I couldn’t have imagined five years earlier. The production budget had ballooned to the point there was a concerted effort to kill the Cup immediately afterward because it cost so much, but I was able to save the event by licensing it to the tour operator. Mike Esterson and I had developed a good working relationship and Esterson sensed untapped value. He agreed to allow me to continue directing the ceremonies and even covered the expenses for my volunteer video crew so I could also keep documenting the evolution of the event. I believed the ceremonies were historically important.

Rita Marley at the 10th Cup.

For the 10th Cup, I created the Counterculture Hall of Fame, and Bob Marley became the first inductee. Rita Marley flew in from Jamaica to help celebrate. At the end of the awards show, Rita invited the winners up onstage. She grabbed a red display box containing the Sensi Seeds entries, and threw samples into the crowd. A giant freestyle jam spontaneously broke out, one that included dueling raps from rival coffeeshop managers. All the winners ended up dancing together on stage. I had an epiphany as Rita convinced me of the importance of improvisation. From that year forth, we ended the awards with the winners dancing on stage as the performers improvised.

Mike Edison.

The 16th Cup was dubbed the Conspiracy Cup and there was a lot of that going on inside the company, most fomented to remove me from the magazine and events I’d created. It was certainly obvious to the staff the lawyer Michael Kennedy despised me and he kept hiring new publishers in the hope one might fire me. Most of publishers he hired, however, felt my leadership had been driving the profits, and Kennedy’s obsession with having me removed made little sense from a business perspective. But eventually Kennedy found his stooge in Mike Edison, a bottom-feeder known for cranking out dozens of fetish porn novels while playing drums for G.G. Allin, whose trademark was defecating on stage.

The problem was always that sales would sink immediately after my demotion, and pressure from the other majority share owners would force Kennedy to put me back in the saddle so the golden eggs might return. Kennedy ran the company like an intelligence operation and much later I would discover why.

Staffers sympathetic to my vision were purged, while Kennedy stuffed the ranks with offspring selected from his connections in New York society, the rungs of which he’d been steadily climbing for decades through the determined efforts of his wife, who’d gained access through a carefully cultivated friendship with Ivana Trump. The Trumps spent a summer renting the Kennedy guest house inside the Yale enclave in the Hamptons. It was the summer Ivanka was born. Later, although inexperienced in divorce, Kennedy would convince Ivana to dispute Roy Cohn’s iron-clad prenup, for which he was undoubtedly paid a small fortune.

(more to come)